The Female Field: UCLA Softball’s Maya Brady uses athletic family’s success to guide her

The Female Field

LOS ANGELES – Athleticism runs deep in the Brady family. Yes, that one.

Tom Brady’s niece and goddaughter Maya Brady is a sophomore softball player at UCLA and won the Softball America Freshman Player of the Year in the 2020 season which was cut short.

“It was an honor because there’s so many amazing players in my class. It was just super exciting for me,” Maya said.

She was given the honor after hitting 5 home runs in 26 games before the season ended abruptly due to COVID. Now in her sophomore season, she has hit seven home runs in 20 games.

Maya’s uncle Tom has won seven Super Bowls, but Maya has other family members with impressive athletic skills. Maya’s other uncle is former MLB star Kevin Youkilis and her mother Maureen Brady was an All-American softball pitcher at Fresno State.

“She’s just been so committed to my dreams and my journey. She’s done everything to get me here. So I owe a huge part of my career to her,” Maya said. “She just taught me what it means to work hard and all that comes with the game.”

Maya said her mom hasn’t pitched to her in about ten years, but she would love to try it again soon and see what happens.

Tom called Maya out on Twitter on March 7 when UCLA Softball tweeted about Maya hitting a home run against San Jose State.

Tom tweeted, “Maya Brady, the most dominant athlete in the Brady family…by far!”

Maya said she texted her uncle soon after he tweeted saying she’s glad he recognizes her “greatness.”

“But he said he wants to race me so I guess that will have to kind of be the defining thing for who truly is the most dominant in the family,” Maya said.

Growing up around all of her family members’ athletic success, Maya said she’s learned to make sacrifices for the things that she really wants to accomplish.

“What you water is what’s going to grow,” she said.

The pandemic certainly took its toll on Maya’s freshman softball season when the remainder of the season was canceled after her team’s game on March 8. This season, they have had eight games in a row canceled due to COVID protocols.

“Our coaches have had us meeting every single day to keep us mentally locked in,” Maya said. “I think it’s definitely hard. We were in a groove and eight games is a lot of games to get canceled in a row, but I think we’re mentally fighting through it.”

Now Maya is looking forward to competing in her first College World Series with the Bruins.

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